You can use OneDrive to sync files between your computer and the cloud, so you can get to your files from anywhere - your computer, your mobile device, and even through the OneDrive website at OneDrive.com. If you add, change, or delete a file or folder in your OneDrive folder, the file or folder is added, changed, or deleted on the OneDrive website and vice versa. You can work with your synced files directly in File Explorer and access your files even when you’re offline. Whenever you’re online, any changes that you or others make will sync automatically.
You can also back up your important folders (your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders) on your Windows PC with OneDrive folder backup syncing, so they're protected and available on other devices.
This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off OneDrive folder sync for your Microsoft account across all your Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices you sign in with the same Microsoft account.
OneDrive Folder Backup Syncing requires OneDrive running and you signed in to OneDrive with your Microsoft account.
EXAMPLE: OneDrive folder backup syncing your Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders
EXAMPLE: Select to restore synced OneDrive files from device during clean install with Microsoft account
Open Settings (Win+I).
Click/tap on Accounts on the left side, and click/tap on Windows backup on the right side. (see screenshot below)
Open Backup Settings
This setting is not available for work or school accounts.
Click/tap on Set up syncing or Manage sync settings for OneDrive folder syncing. (see screenshots below)
Continue at step 3 in Option Two.
Click/tap on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar corner, click/tap on Help & Settings (gear) icon, and click/tap on Settings. (see screenshot below)
Click/tap on the Backup tab, click/tap on the Manage backup button, and click/tap on [/B]OK[/B]. (see screenshot below)
Do step 4 (start syncing folder) or step 5 (stop syncing folder) below for what you want.
4 Turn on OneDrive Folder Backup Syncing for your Desktop, Documents, and/or Pictures folder
A) Check the folders you want to sync, and uncheck the folders you do not want to sync, and click/tap on Start backup. (see screenshot below)
B) You can close the Microsoft OneDrive dialog while your files sync to OneDrive. Or, to watch your files sync, click/tap on View sync progress. (see screenshots below)
5 Turn off OneDrive Folder Backup Syncing for your Desktop, Documents, and/or Pictures folder
A) Click/tap on the Stop backup link for the folder you want to stop syncing. (see screenshot below)
B) Click/tap on Stop backup to verify. (see screenshot below)
C) Click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below)
D) When finished, close the Microsoft OneDrive dialog. (see screenshot below)
E) When you stop backing up a folder, the files that were already backed up by OneDrive stay in the OneDrive folder, and will no longer appear in your device folder.
In the folder that you stopped backing up, you’ll see an icon titled Where are my files that’s a shortcut to your folders in OneDrive. To access your files, click/tap on the shortcut to open the folder in OneDrive.
If you want those files back in your device folder and not in OneDrive, move them manually from the OneDrive folder back to your device folder. Note that any new files you add to that folder on your device won't be backed up by OneDrive after you stop the backup.
To move the files, click/tap on the Where are my files shortcut to open the folder in OneDrive, then select the files that you want to move to your device folder, and drag them to that location.
- Turn On or Off Remember Apps for Microsoft Account Across Windows 11 Devices
- Turn On or Off Remember Preferences for Microsoft Account Across Windows 11 Devices
- Choose which OneDrive Folders to Sync in Windows 11
- Pause and Resume OneDrive Syncing in Windows 11
- Enable or Disable OneDrive Files On-Demand in Windows 11
- Enable or Disable OneDrive Syncing in Battery Saver Mode in Windows 11
- Enable or Disable OneDrive Syncing on Metered Network in Windows 11
- Change OneDrive Sync Upload and Download Rate in Windows 11